Freelance Writer For Hire: What you should know before you hire a writer
If you’re looking for a high-quality and experienced freelance writer for hire, you’ve come to the right place. You have probably run into this post by finding me on Google when you searched for terms relating to hire freelance writers. If I can rank content for my own business, I can do the same for yours.
My name is Ali and I’m a freelance writer. I’ve been writing about IT services for just over 3 years, so I’ve come across most relationships between freelance writers and businesses. In this blog post, I’ll tell you exactly what you need to know before hiring a writer for your business and what ROI you can get from hiring the right writer.
The ROI of content marketing
If there’s anything you can take from this post, it’s this section here. Many decision makers within business don’t truly understand the ROI of content marketing and how long it takes to see the ROI. To comprehend the ROI, you will need to thoroughly understand several things:
- Writing high quality content
- Timeline of ROI
Hate to admit it, but writing content and publishing alone will literally do nothing. If I publish this blog post without knowing anything about how blogs rank on Google, I’m basically hoping it works.
It took me years to truly understand how SEO works. When I started freelance writing, I still didn’t know why I was paid to write. As long as the customer paid me, I had no complaints.
It wasn’t until COVID hit and many clients lost their budget that I really questioned what I was doing. Turns out that the majority of content I wrote for clients were not ranking on Google. The clients simply just published content because they had “a budget for content”.
I went down the internet rabbit hole for months and learned how SEO truly worked. Let me show you how I did the SEO for this article.
For SEO, there are many tools you can use. I use a tool called Ubersuggest, it’s $29/month and it works well for my blog. There’s a 7-day free trial, so you can check that out here.
I hopped on Ubersuggest and search up the keywords relevant for this post. This included terms like “hire freelance writer” and “freelance writer for hire”. I did the search and here’s what I got:
As you can see, there’s nearly 600 people who search to hire freelance writers each month. The next metric is the SEO difficulty. This is a score from 0-100 that indicates how easy it is to rank for this term. The lower the number the better. I often try to stay under 35 since my site is relatively new.
Ubersuggest also shows the estimated traffic break down between the top sites for the term. It looks like this:
As you can see the first few sites have a high domain authority and they take the lion’s share of views. In order for me to outrank them, I’d have to produce content that is much longer and much better quality.
Since Upwork has a domain rating of 91, the chances of me outranking them is very slim. I can outrank other writers that are getting some traffic if I have better content.
Assuming this post ages well, I can get within the top 5 and get maybe 50 views per month. These are 50 interested prospects landing on my site and if I can convert maybe 2-3%, I can land two very high-quality clients each month. By the end of next year alone, I can have a dozen clients that I choose to work with. This shows what content marketing can really do.
Writing high quality content
Even with the best SEO in the world, you need to write quality content for your readers to stay on your page and eventually convert them into customers. SEO is basically helping your site rank on Google for keywords. What happens when a customer actually lands on your site?
They will quickly bounce if your content is not good. Writing high quality content requires you getting several things right prior simultaneously. First, you need to write enough content.
In the early days of Google, you can put a few paragraphs and rank easily on the first page. Today, that is a recipe for zero views and wasted time.
You need to write enough content to rank well on Google. Most businesses may write 300, 400 or 500 word posts and call it a day. This can work if you’re a big company with high domain authority. If you are starting out today, you will need to outwrite the competitors ranked ahead of you.
To give you an idea, the writers that are ranked for the term for this article “freelance for hire” have roughly 500 words or less. The fact that this alone is enough to rank on the first page of Google shows how easy it is to rank.
This post alone will be over 2,500 words. Is it overkill? Yes and no. “Freelance writer for hire” is the most important term for my business. If I can rank in the top 3 articles on Google, it will pay dividends for years. If I had to write 10,000 words, I’d still do it.
The cost per click for this term is over $18. I’d rather write 10,000 words than pay $10,000 to have a few hundred prospects land on my page.
Other factors for writing high quality content include improve the readability of your posts, incorporating headers, adding high quality images and more.
Timeline of ROI and other factors:
It typically takes 8-9 months for a single blog post to reach it’s maximum traffic on Google. This post is being written by me in April of 2021. I will not really see how well this post did until probably the beginning of 2022.
It takes that long-term approach to really see the fruit of content marketing. If your business cannot wait that long, your marketing dollars are likely best spent elsewhere.
Content marketing is supposed to be the foundation for your organic search traffic. By investing time and money into your blog today, you can generate thousands of free visitors to your site each month for years to come. Additional factors that will influence how well your content will rank include the competitiveness of your niche and link building.
If your niche has big competitors with established content, you will need to niche down and build your traffic will less competitive keywords. Additionally, building links will help organic search traffic, but you can just focus on writing quality content for now. Once you build links later, your aged blogs will get even more views.
Behind the scenes on my content marketing:
Let’s put all of the lessons above and put it into practice. I’ll highlight my blog as an example of the timeline for content marketing.
I started this blog on December 28, 2020. At the time of this blog being written, I’ve written just over 45 articles.
As of today, this is how my the analytics for my site looks like.
At this point it’s hard to tell if my traffic is really organic since I’m only 3 and 1/2 months in. My audience is starting to get more dispersed, so I’m getting the first few viewers on some of my older posts.
This is the timeline I anticipated for writing content. The true traffic doesn’t really hit until after 5-6 months.
For someone who doesn’t understand how SEO works, seeing 7 users reading 45 pieces of content can be disheartening. As my blog posts age over the next several months, I can easily start seeing hundreds if not thousands of page views per month.
Traffic and monetizing blog
Let me break down my strategy for monetizing this blog. This will give you an idea of how you can monetize the content for your business.
At the current pace I’m on, I’ll likely publish over 200 blog posts on my blog this year. This is very aggressive and only businesses with a full writing aim for this type of content production. Assuming even the worst case scenario, I should be averaging over 30,000 page views per month by the end of the year.
I can safely assume this because I’m estimating on average 150 views per blog post per month. So, 200 blog posts X 150 page views= 30,000 page views per month.
That’s 30,000 free and organic page views coming to my site. With this volume of visitors, I can place ads on my site, use affiliate links and sell my own products and services (aka freelance writing).
For my blog, I need that volume of traffic because my services are much cheaper than an enterprise. For example, at my current rate of $250 per blog post, I’ll need 40 blog posts to generate $10,000. A business can offer a single service for one client and get a $10,000 deal.
Depending on the pricing of your business’ services, getting a few thousands ideal clients to your site each month can literally had hundreds of thousands of dollars to your business. Many companies I’ve worked with already have their own distribution channels like email lists, so this can be magnified even more. This is the true power of content marketing.
It’s important to note that no blog post is guaranteed to succeed, you must keep publishing content and the good posts will make up for the ones with little to no traffic.
Why hiring the right writer matters?
As a decision maker within your business, your main priority is to hire great employees and set the culture for your teams. Hiring an inexperienced or unprofessional writer will bring a lot more headaches than writing the content yourself. If you consider the time and money spent between communicating, onboarding a writer to your tools, etc, hiring the wrong writer can cost your business thousands of dollars.
The qualified writer for your business will be someone who has at least a fundamental understanding of your business. The more experienced the writer is, the easier it will be to work with them.
For example, I started off as an IT writer. The majority of my clients were worked in managed IT services and provided a variety of IT services for other businesses. Prior to writing any piece of content, I had to familiarize myself with many terms. This included terms like IT management services, clone phishing and other terms relevant to my clients. The writer you hire should be familiar with industry jargon or the writing won’t make sense.
What are common issues you come across when hiring a freelance writer?
As hard as it is to find freelance work, it can be equally difficult to find a writer that works well with your business. Vetting a freelance writer prior to onboarding them into your business is crucial because it will save a lot of time and money.
A freelance writer may look good on paper, but it’s different once you actually have to work with them. Employers who rely on resumes will find it very difficult to hire the right writer.
Just because a writer has a degree in journalism or communications doesn’t mean they are the right fit for your business. The only way to get experience as a freelance writer is to actually work with clients.
As an employer, you need to find freelance writers with previous work history in your desired niche. Ask the freelance writer to send samples of work, this is much better than asking for a resume. Samples will provide you a good estimate of how competent a writer is.
When hiring a freelance writer, it’s important to go through the right paperwork. This will make taxes much easier in the future. Additionally, if you need your writer to sign NDAs or similar paperwork, do that before your first payment to the writer. Avoiding these housekeeping activities will only complicate working with a freelance writer.
Retention is a very tricky subject, especially when it comes to freelance writers. For the most part, employers will terminate work agreements once they no longer need the freelance writer for their business. It’s a harsh reality, but that’s what happens in most cases for freelance writers.
For the top performing freelance writers, they generally have an abundance of clients to choose from. These are the writers that get referrals from previous clients and have established themselves in their industry. Unless you have a contract with that writer, assume you are working with them on a monthly basis. I would recommend at least getting a verbal or email agreement of how long you want the writer to work with you.
Retaining a good freelance writer is very important because of the time and money it will take to replace them. For the most part, freelance writers who enjoy working with clients tend to stick with them for years. Establishing a good personal relationship with the writer makes it far more likely to retain them.
As an employer, you need to set boundaries and expectations when it comes to your freelance writers. If a freelance writer is providing sloppy work, communicate that so it can be avoided in the future. Setting boundaries and expectations is crucial to maintaining any relationship, but it’s even more important in business.
Once you and your freelance writer are on the same page, you can have a good personal relationship. Make sure you provide enough context and resources for the freelance writer to do the work without needing your constant involvement. Micromanaging is a waste of your time and the freelance writer’s time.
This sounds like a lot of work, but it’s only like this for the first few months. Once the guidelines around expectations are set, it’s smooth sailing for the most part.
What types of content do I write?
- Case studies
- Web page writing
- Email copywriting
I hope I was able to give you some value on how content marketing works and why selecting a quality writer is important for your business. At the moment, I’m taking on a few clients each month. If you are interested in working with me, shoot me an email with your objectives and your budget.